Key message from David James, Bishop of Bradford:
Dear Brother and Sisters
Blasphemy law in Pakistan: open petition
Christians and Muslims around the world as well as people of other faiths and those who do not adhere to any religion will have been hearing with real concern, the news of the attacks on the Christian villages of Gojra and Qorian in Pakistan resulting in the deaths of at least seven innocent men, women and children. This was the latest in such attacks over many years and has attracted international condemnation from religious and political leadership in Pakistan and internationally.Following widespread discussions with Christian partners and correspondents in Pakistan, Christian and Muslim organisations in the United Kingdom and with the Pakistan authorities, there is a desire amongst many people to express their concerns to the Government of Pakistan and to press for change in the blasphemy legislation and for the protection of Christians and others who are suffering from its abuse. To this end a petition is now available to be signed electronically and can be reached by clicking here and following the instructions.
One of the causes of such attacks is the ability of extremists and others with private motivations, to incite attacks on Christians and on occasion also on Muslims; and the inability of the police and local judiciary to protect innocent people. The blasphemy laws currently in force in Pakistan provide such people with the means to incite violence and seem to have played a part in the recent incidents which led to the death of a number of Christians.
The petition will be delivered to the Pakistan Government and is intended to assist in their efforts to prevent further attacks. The more people who sign, the more effective the petition will be and we urge you to take action now by:
1. signing the petition yourself
2. by putting this letter prominently on your own and as many other websites as possible.
It is by actions such as these that people of faith and of goodwill can show their active concern for the good of the world and in this case their support of the Christian community of Pakistan
Please do sign today - one click makes it possible!